PH debt rises to new ₱12.76-T high in April

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 2) — The country's outstanding debt stock hit a fresh all-time high of ₱12.76 trillion as of end-April, Bureau of the Treasury figures released Thursday show.

The latest tally — which represents a 16.1% annual growth — surpassed the previous ₱12.68 trillion record set in March.

The Treasury said 70% of total national government loans were sourced locally. Domestic borrowings in April rose 0.8% month-on-month and 14.4% year-on-year.

Foreign debt, which accounted for the remaining 30%, also increased 20.4% from April last year. Compared to March 2022, this climbed 0.4%.

The government's guaranteed obligations stood at ₱413.43 billion in April, down 4.9% annually but up 0.6% from the month prior.

"The increment in the level of guaranteed debt was due to the net availment of both domestic and external guarantees amounting to ₱6.16 billion and ₱0.12 billion, respectively," the bureau said.

The country's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio was already at 63.5% as of the first quarter, breaching the international threshold of 60%, with authorities incurring more loans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Benjamin Diokno, the incoming finance secretary, earlier said this shouldn't be a cause for concern as long as the economy grows 6-7% on a "sustainable basis."